April 22, 2011
Thank you so much for being willing to hear my story. I can not explain the sense of urgency that I feel for this part of the issue of Human Trafficking…those sold into pornography against their will. You mentioned that this is a needed area and asked if I would be willing to share a bit. I am willing. My heart aches for those girls and boys and young women still trapped. It has only been in this last year that I am aware of the compassion for others…so I guess I am really healing enough to get out of myself and reach out. Thank you for being interested in this part of the ugliness.
Here is a bit of my story. I am changing the names of my first husband, the pornography and also my name…I hope that is ok. I have an anonymous name, Naideen. And I will change my husband’s name to Ed and the pornographers name to Gerry. This took place between 1968 and 1971. And, though there is a huge time difference between then and now, not much has changed except the depth of violence that seems to be way more prevalent today. The ugliness is still being portrayed and it is more available now.
I met my husband, Ed, while at a dance. He was the piano player and the singer. He asked me for a date. When the next weekend arrived he drove all the way down from his home in another city to pick me up. We then drove all the way back to that city for dinner and dancing. He asked me to marry him on that first date. I told him no, I did not know him, and we continues the evening. He then drove me all the way back home. He made no advances, and he asked for another date. I was impressed because of his politeness and consideration. This was far from my previous experiences with boys and men. We continues to date for a few months and then one evening I asked him to ask me that question again and he immediately asked me to marry him and I accepted.
While we were dating he introduced me to his friends. He took me to really nice places, was a complete gentleman, and very considerate. One man who he worked with lived in the same large city that he was from. On that first visit, his friend, Gerry, took some pictures of me outside on the lawn. Ed stood off to the side and it was all innocent. As my healing slowly opens the recesses of memory, I now know that it was at the first meeting that Gerry took ‘test shots’ of me. We visited Gerry and his wife a few more times after we were married.
The first time that I was subjected to this happened when my husband said we were going to go to Gerry’s house for dinner and drinks. I had just celebrated my 21st birthday. We drove over and a few people were already there. What happened next was completely shocking and terrifying. Ed excused himself to go talk with someone. I don’t know if it was on the phone in another room or out on the porch or if he had left the house…he was just gone. Suddenly everyone else who was there just disappeared and I was alone with Gerry. Then he started bringing out some photography equipment and lights and I remember that I began to have an uneasy sick feeling but he kept talking to me, grabbing my arm, and showing me stuff and I thought I had to be polite and listen. Then there was a prick in my arm and then there was a mattress on the floor and big huge dog and Gerry undressed me, tied me up, smeared something on me that stunk and filmed that dog doing sexual things on me. I remember the dog licking me when he was done. My feeble drug induced weakness would not let me fight though I remember trying to fight my body would not move. I was numb in shock in total disbelief and trying to find that familiar hiding place in my mind. It took me many months after this memory first came up to the surface 20 years ago before I could find my arms and hands. They had been tied up above and behind me, and suddenly they were around the neck of the dog. I vaguely recall being repositioned a few times but I am not going to share any more of the particulars because I don’t even admit them to myself. Then, it was over and I was still partially tied up had no clothes on and was alone. Gerry was gone and the photography cameras and lights were gone. I sat on the corner of the mattress and gathered a sheet up to wrap around me. I could not move or breathe. I was in what seemed like and felt like what I came to term as ‘a blue fog’, was sick to my stomach and everything smelled terribly. Then, as I started to come out of the shock I crawled to the bathroom because I could not walk, my legs were shaking too much. In that bathroom there was a shower and my clothes were neatly folded up on the little table. There was make up and hair spray on the counter next to the sink. I showered, but could not seem to move. I felt my feet were stuck in concrete, and it took every ounce of energy I could muster to shower. As I knelt there on the floor of the shower I recall being puzzled by the very large drain. I could not get clean, and still smelled horribly, it did not seem to come off. Then I hear Ed pounding on the door asking me to hurry up they were going to have drinks and dinner. He was hurrying me. I dressed and when I saw him he wondered why I was so long in the bathroom. I told him I was sick to my stomach (the first of numerous lies I began telling him) and he said the gin and tonic would settle my stomach down. He was looking especially pleased to see me and I never told him what happened. How was I supposed to tell him what Gerry did? He and Gerry worked together, and they were friends. I was afraid to tell Ed afraid he would leave me or divorce me or who knows what. Or, he could have said it never happened, how could it? There was nothing left there in the living room. It was a normal looking living room, again. That living room turned out to be a room from hell and Gerry could change it at the drop of a hat, very quickly, then just as quickly back to normal again. Still being in a fog from whatever was in that shot Gerry gave me, I drank that drink Ed fixed, drank a several more, smiled through the evening, never told him what had happened and never asked him where he went. That same living room where I had just been filmed sexually with a dog, was the same place were we all sat around on pillows and had fondue and drinks. It was as though nothing had happened. That evening’s drink started a binge of drinking what ever I could find whenever I could find it for the next nearly 4 years. Blocking out what happened became upper most in my mind. A couple of months later, I happened to over hear Ed speaking of another visit with Gerry. I made myself drink too much and got drunk and sick so the visit was cancelled. But then the following weekend we drove over there and I did not know we were going there till we were nearly there. Ed originally told me we were going to someone else’s house then changed his mind because he said there was a road block, and construction. We ended up at Gerry’s again, and again Ed disappeared. I was left with Gerry again and more disgusting terrifying painful stuff happened. Still, I never told Ed, I never told anyone. There were threats, some spoken and some unspoken…like seeing photos of myself on a table. Those were prints shown at the parties Gerry had to ‘sell’ these films and pictures. Men would come to his house and he hosted these parties where I and some of the other girls had to dance and ‘sell’ the films. And again Ed seemed to disappear. These times of filming me were to happen again and again every 2 to 3 months, never the same thing twice, always different, always humiliating, and always the promise of “it won’t happen again.” It went on and on and on, for a little over 3 years and I never said a word to Ed or anyone. Ed was still nice to me, gracious and thoughtful. All of this time I was still working a full time job and accompanying Ed when he played in the rock band on the weekends. I wanted to buy property and build a house, he agreed and we did. That encouraged me because I guess it seemed to impress me with he wanted to be with me and did not know about this other stuff that was going on. I clung to that hope and tried to keep going. Then from out of the blue, what happened was an absolute miracle to God. After almost 3 ½ years I had become what I called myself…a ‘gray lady.’ One day without warning, I snapped and without thinking or planning, I left I ran and escaped with my life. That alone is another story.
There were girls who were just like me. Gerry did not ever do anything on the level of Playboy of Hustle, or any of those magazines. He did films of the most degrading disgusting nature with the sole intent to mix sex with terror torment and pain with me. There were object used for penetration, a vacuum cleaner hose, animals, penetration with a man’s foot kicking me, fisting, and being bound with ropes, wire, cords, chains, being stretched in painful positions, being pinned with safety pins. He put a rope around my neck and tied it to my feet making me stand up while bent over and being raped and shoved up against the wall. He put some kind of thin tube under the skin on my wrists and knees and then put what looked liked a fishing line through and then attached it to wood pegs and I had cooperate with where they led my arms legs and hands. I was like a puppet. I was put into a large glass dry aquarium container with a boa constrictor, then it was stood up on end and he filmed my terror as the snake moved across my body. That snake was encircled about my neck another time and my panic was filmed while they committed horrible acts. And to this day I have not had a mammogram because of the reports of what happens. The recoil in my stomach and mind won’t let me let anyone squish me like that again, or wrap a rope around my breasts so tightly. I was forced to perform sexually on a severely disabled man, and with a grossly overweight man. This is just a shot account. There are physically, sensory, and mentally handicapped that Gerry used in this manner. I was hard of hearing at the time and obviously out of touch because of not understanding communication. And you know…in the midst of all this, there was never anything really lasting to show, physically, for the misery of the experiences left me. He left virtually no large visible external bruises, or cuts. If there was anything that left a mark he told me what happened so I could tell anyone who should happen to ask. I do have a few small scars from that one thing he did with the fishing line. But mostly when he wanted to portray blood, he had access to old blood from the blood bank. I don’t know where he got the urine or feces…and don’t ever want to know. I remember him telling me that people think this stuff on films is made up anyway, that it is just acting and that nothing bad ever really happens. I drew up an old phrase from my father “if you cooperate, it won’t hurt so badly,” and adopted that mentality so I could keep going. Even though some of the times I was alone there were other times when young women were sometimes being filmed with me or before or after with me. Gerry said that he would fly to Europe to recruit the girls bring them here to the States, film them, then he would take them back to Europe. Actually they were more like girls. They were young and seemed to be ages 15-17 from Denmark, Sweden, Russia, and a few from Germany and Austria, and a girl from France one time. They were mostly from Denmark though. Those are the ones I know about. I remember that it seemed that Gerry had several methods of filming these girls that seemed different than what he did with me. These girls that I met were terrified, sad, and had the same blankness in their eyes that I felt, and yet seemed somehow to be believable in the films. One way Gerry used them was to make Blue Movies which were popular in the 60’s and 70’s. That was not what he did with me. I do not know of any more details other than what I saw, because I was only over there to be filmed every couple of months or so. There was one time when I was waiting to be filmed that I held one girl a pretty girl of 17 from Denmark as she shook uncontrollably from the experience she just had. But I was afraid that sympathy would hurt her or me or both of us, so it was a short holding. Another time one of the girls was so shaken and upset that I offered to take her place. She was hysterical. That was the closest I ever got to another in that place and at that time. I kept my distance and ensure the isolation, daring not to talk with another who was going to be leaving anyway. A young woman from Denmark and another one from Russia did the more exquisite embroidery. As they finished up they just sank back down in their little world of sewing. I asked them to show me what they were doing and it was almost with great reluctance that they showed me. To this day I can absorb in some tiny detailed work to escape from hurt or fears or memories. They taught me how to find focus different from the checking out or disconnecting during the filming.
It is only in these recent months have I come to understand that Gerry lied to me over and over, twisting the truth. It is with a deep sadness that I now realize that these girls were trafficked over here, shuffled from place to place and never went home. I never realized it at the time. It is so hard to wrap my mind around because I went home when Gerry was finished filming. He told me these girls would be flown home as well. Now I know they were not. The mind manipulating, the emotional trauma, physical pain, mental torment threats and humiliation were strong reasons to be quiet and cooperate.
Slowly memories and awareness are coming to the front of my brain, bringing more of the puzzle pieces and fitting them together. After I finally was able to escape and managed to survive all the threats and assaults, being followed being beaten up kicked, strangled and thrown on the floor and left for dead it was several months later that I finally filed for divorce. My lawyer met with Ed’s lawyer and they worked on an agreement. I recall that at first my lawyer told me that Ed had bought property in that large city while we were married. This was unbeknownst to me. Then a very short time later both of the lawyers agreed that I was to get nothing because I had left Ed. I was told I had no rights to the house we built or the property the he had purchased. I never argued or questioned anything. I just got out with my life and did not want anything. It is because of the healing that is happening in me now that I am able to understand that the money Ed got from selling me was most likely how he purchased the property in town and also quite probable that this property was used to house the girls Gerry brought over or was used for a studio. It was at about the same time that I left Ed, that Gerry’s wife also left him and she told me that Ed was the editor for those films that were made of me and the other girls. She and I only saw each other that one time. It was simply too dangerous for the both of us and I never saw her again.
The fogginess of my memories coupled with the great intent to forget and stuff things down along with the threats to not speak a word would not allow me to admit that I had been used in pornography. It wasn’t until 20 years ago that I began to recall some things and at one point came to know beyond any doubt that I had been sold and Ed got money for me. It was at that time that I came to realize and now know that was how we paid for the expensive yacht trips, a couple every summer, and that he entertained guests, his friends, on those trips. This started to piece together because in our marriage he gave me the money from his work, and the band jobs. I added my earnings and took care of the household budget. The uneasy questions about ‘where did he get the money for all this stuff’ were beginning to be answered about 20 years ago. And now I believe that he probably was working even more closely with Gerry in the Human Trafficking than I could have ever realized. There was nothing out in the open back then like there is now, so the term Human Trafficking was probably not ever used. There is no way of proving any of this, these are just highly likely suspicions. Also, in hind site and as pieces start to fit together and make sense, I now realize that Ed in the band was a spotter and handler and he was my pimp as well. Though he doesn’t fit the typical description of pimps today he still got money for me. Another interesting element to this story is that after I left him and at the same time Gerry’s wife told me that Ed was the film editor, she also told me that before she left Gerry she knew that Ed had moved in one of those girls immediately after I left him.
Certainly there is now a growing awareness and focus on girls and boys, men and women being trafficked in from other countries. It is such a horror for these poor souls. I know how much it hurts to be betrayed and used. I know that I am to share my story because there are women and girls and boys right now being sold into pornography. These poor souls live right here in the USA, right here in my town in my state. I was filmed in a large popular city. These young ones are being sold out and filmed in living rooms, bedrooms, back yards, basements, attics, sheds, the woods, or abandoned buildings into pornography. They are being handled by a pimp and handler, or their boyfriend/husband, friend of a friend, etc. It shocks me, that I was so ignorant to any of the signs. I thought pimps handled prostitutes, and I was not a prostitute. But, I was still sold and Ed was my pimp and he got the money, I never saw any money. These girls and boys also don’t get any money, but are forced to be available anytime to be filmed or photographed. They are still going to school, or even work, yes even still going to church, going shopping carrying on what we think are ‘normal’ activities. They have no one to tell because the threats are still there and the humiliation and the biggest one is that the general public still sees pornography in the stereotypical manner…it is not real. The pictures that Gerry sold were in like an ‘underground,’ films are sold ‘underground’ and information is relayed from one man to another all of is ‘underground.’ From the little that I know of this, Gerry did not mail anything…the clients who bought were from the immediate area, or flew in from California and all over the country. They came up for parties and stayed at his house. He had a very large house, almost a mansion and there were bedrooms up stairs. Now, images are on the Internet. It is insidious and I really want the websites that are advocating Human Trafficking to include the travesty of pornography.